Post # 1
I want to put together a flushmount photo album of my wedding pictures. I would prefer to do the layout myself, and that means that I can’t go through my photographer. Does anyone know of any websites that will cater to consumers, not just professionals?
Some options I’ve found are:
If you have ordered through one of these sites, or anywhere else, please let me know about the quality!
Post # 3
GREAT question – I’m interested in this too.
Post # 4
yes me too, ive been dying to do some research as we will be doing our own albums as well, what is the price diff on ordering from photog and DIY?
Post # 5
I’ve heard some good things on here about http://www.blurb.com, but I’ve never seen the results myself. It is literally hundreds of dollars cheaper than what my photographer would charge, but I don’t know what the difference in quality would be like.
Post # 6
Most photographers I have seen, charge like $1000 and up to do one of those albums, so I’d love to create one myself. I bet there’s websites out there that do it… I’ve made albums on Shutterfly before, I dont know the quality of their wedding ones though.
Post # 7
Someone just posted a blog that reviewed like 8 companies. They ordered the same book from 8 companies and then compared them.
Post # 8
Can you locate that one caszos? Thanks!
Post # 9
@caszos: I think you mean this one? http://www.digitalhomethoughts.com/news/show/97676/14/1/15
Not sure what’s happening with that font. Sorry!
Anyway, I can’t remember who posted it, but I bookmarked it. Definitely interesting.
There’s a *huge* difference between press-printed photo books and real photo albums (printed at labs on photographic paper). The quality’s on a totally different level–cover materials, bindings, and, especially, the pictures themselves.
Photo books definitely have their place–I make them every year for Christmas gifts for grandparents, etc. But even the books that are a year or two old are already falling apart–the binding’s just not made to last. I would never, ever use them for an actual wedding album (maybe a little one for grandparents, but that’s about it).
A *ton* of work goes into “real” albums, and almost all good companies will only work with professional photographers. When I started pricing them out, I was shocked by how high the prices are. But these are truly made to last, and can be handed down. They’re gorgeous, and expensive.
I do know that Mpix offers a kind-of flushmount directly to consumers. There’s only one pic per page (so no design), and it definitely doesn’t look as nice as some of the premium flush mounts, but Mpix is fairly reputable, and I’d trust them a lot more than some of the super-cheap online sites offering flushmounts (I’ve seen a couple, but I’ve never seen a single review; they strike me as pretty sketchy… BUT if they were making excellent albums, I’d love to be able to offer them to my clients for less). OTOH, I’ve seen (and had) issues with Mpix’s print quality–the same picture coming out green in one print, and red in another. I wouldn’t use them for the stuff I do; but they’re probably going to be better than most other sites that work with consumers. And they’re definitely cheaper than a premium flushmount.
Post # 10
Very helpful, thanks!! I checked out the link http://www.photographyalbums.net that allmeyda provided, and those look to be excellent quality, more pricey but you get what you pay for!
Post # 11
I’ve seen that one before (photographyalbums.net). Has anyone ever found any reviews, or has anyone seen them in person? I tried to find more information a while back, but had no luck. These are way cheaper than the album vendors I use. I would be *very* careful about forking over a few hundred for a place with no reviews… On the other hand, if someone is brave enough to try them, I’d be very curious to hear/see the results. 🙂
Post # 12
Somerset Albums also offers flushmount albums to the general public. I haven’t used them, so I can’t speak to their quality. Anyone have a review?
Post # 13
A couple of quick things I noticed about Somerset… They don’t offer a true panorama print (there’s a seam down the middle), and the covers aren’t leather.
Post # 14
Whoa those are cheap! I would be skeptical as these are much cheaper then what pros are paying, which means the quality probably isn’t want they said it is. Our studio has gone through about 8 different album companies trying to find one that was great quality, great customer service, and a decent price. Most of the lower priced ones, my sample albums warped after a few months. If you live in a high humidity area this could be a huge issue so do your research before making that investment.
@alicia have you checked out finao.com they are fabulus! We’ve been using them for about two years now.
If anyone decides to use these guys please post your reviews I would love to get some feedback/ reviews on them.
Post # 16
MyCanvas offers flushmount books. I haven’t gotten a flushmount from them, but their regular (similar to blurb) books are really nice.
The absolute best photobook company I’ve used (of Blurb, MyCanvas, Shutterfly, MyPublisher, Smilebooks, and Photoworks) is Smilebooks. Their regular books have much thicker paper than the other companies and the photos are great quality (photo quality only matched by MyCanvas).
They’ve also started offering books printed on real photo paper. I made one of these real photopaper books for my wedding album. It’s exactly like a flushmount book, except that a true flushmount book has the photo pages mounted on cardboard. The Smilebooks photo paper books just have the photopaper, so the pages aren’t super thick and completely stiff (though still much thicker and stiffer than any regular photo book). It’s absolutely gorgeous. The cover of a true flushmount album is more heavy duty, but this cover is still quite nice (only available in photo covers)…I would like it if it was a bit heavier though.